Hot Topics

Business moves fast in the 21st century. Smith Brain Trust can help you keep pace with bite-sized business insights on the latest headlines. With expertise in nearly every industry and region, we can point you to the news you need to know and explain why it matters. Check this feed for regular updates, and follow us on Twitter @SmithBrainTrust.

Mar 29, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

With Google gripped by a spiraling ad boycott as companies protest having their content posted alongside extremist YouTube videos, the search giant's competitors might be spotting an opportunity. Already a fresh focus has turned to the "upfronts" – the annual New York City ritual in which TV networks make pitches for long-term contracts with major brands and advertising agencies based on expected audiences. And experts at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business say the networks aren't the only outlets that stand to gain from Google's expanding crisis. Read more...

Mar 29, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Can U.S. companies simultaneously encourage that employees get enough sleep (7-plus hours nightly) and still maintain a competitive edge? Sleep deprivation costs U.S. firms 1.2 million employee work days and roughly $411 billion in revenue a year, according a recent report from the Rand Corporation. That lack of sleep knocks an estimated 2.28 percent off the nation’s gross domestic product each year. The groggy workforce is a worldwide challenge to businesses, but it's especially acute in the United States, the Smith School's Gilad Chen explains. But it doesn't have to be that way. Read more...

Mar 17, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Those annual employee performance reviews can be pretty stressful. But what if instead of being a once-a-year thing with just your boss, they were every day, with everyone you work with? JPMorgan Chase & Co. is revamping the way it evaluates its 240,000 employees, deploying a mobile app that will let colleagues across the organization send and receive instant feedback about each other any time. Executives say the application, Insight360, was inspired by the bank’s younger, millennial employees, many of whom say they prefer continuous feedback, rather than a once-a-year report card. Read more...

Mar 15, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Are Canada’s oil sands losing their luster? More than a decade ago, big multinational energy companies were flocking to the Western province of Alberta in droves, lured by a wealth of heavy crude in its bitumen-rich sands when oil was trading north of $100 a barrel. Smith School professor Charles E. Olson explains why times are changing. Read more...

Mar 15, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Has Starbucks figured out a way to entice its devoted morning-coffee crowd to come back later in the day? The Seattle-based chain is rolling out a line of ice cream coffee treats — called affogatos — at 100 stores across the country, betting that a more decadent coffee treat will inspire an afternoon or evening splurge. The treats — classically, ice cream topped with a shot or two of espresso — are the latest menu extension for the Seattle-based coffee giant, and show how Starbucks is using analytics data and its upscale Starbucks Roastery in Seattle to test out potential new offerings before rolling them out en masse. Read more...

Mar 15, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Uber has amassed a string of negative headlines in recent months. But Smith School professor Brent Goldfarb says the future of the ride-sharing app will hinge on whether Uber’s business model can produce a profit. “At present the public doesn't know when the business model actually works and makes money,” Goldfarb says. Read more...

 

Mar 09, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

GM headquarters, Detroit.It was never an easy marriage. Now General Motors and its European operations are officially calling it quits, laying bare their incompatibilities and the difficulties of bridging the consumer divide. GM will sell its Opel and Vauxhall brands to Peugeot maker PSA Group in a $2.33 billion deal that will make PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe, behind only Volkswagen. The German Opel and British Vauxhall have generated losses for GM since 1999. Part of the problem was an incompatibility between the small, economical models of the European brands and the rest of General Motors, experts say. But there were other troubles, as well. Read more...

Mar 09, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Could the activism inspired by International Women's Day, such as State Street Global Advisors' placing a statue of a young girl before the iconic charging bull of Wall Street, actually hamper the push to gain more women on U.S. corporate boards? Smith School professor Rajshree Agarwal supports the goal of having gender equality on corporate boards, but says getting there may require some care. Agarwal was among the experts who took part in a panel discussion this week: "Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards: How Do We Get There?" Read more...

Mar 09, 2017
Entrepreneurial Spirit

Millennials aren’t special when it comes to their need for higher purpose at work. “Everybody wants purpose in their role,” says Shannon Schuyler, keynote speaker at the ninth annual Social Enterprise Symposium. The PwC executive says the human desire to contribute to something meaningful often makes CEOs nervous because they worry that employees will grow restless when they discover that personal and organizational purpose do not align. She shares three ways to soften the risk. Read more...

Mar 01, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

Victoria's Secret models Stella Maxwell (L) and Romee StrijdCan Victoria's Secret get her groove back? Faced with fundamental shifts in customer preferences, rising online shopping and fading shopping-mall traffic, the queen of lingerie has reported a slowdown in sales and is cautioning that this year's revenues won't be among its perkiest. Now experts are wondering whether the brand will be able to bounce back. Smith School professors Jie Zhang and Yajin Wang say it won't be easy. Read more...

Pages

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742